Songs of Love: The Medicine of Music: Spotlight and Giveaway

We know that music can be therapeutic, especially when a song is personalized. I am excited to kick off celebrating child life month with our featured post on The Songs of Love Foundation.

The Songs of Love Foundation is a national nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that creates uplifting, personalized songs for children and teens struggling with a life-threatening illness or lifetime disability, free of charge. Each CD is professionally produced with lyrics containing the child’s name and references to all of his or her favorite activities, things, people, and pets. Songs are written and performed in the musical style that the child likes best (pop, r&b, rap, rock, alternative, etc.), by a variety of talented professionals. The organization is named after a song called “Songs of Love” that Julio Beltzer (Songs of Love founder John Beltzer’s twin brother) wrote just 2 months before he passed away on April 12, 1984.

As each child is unique, so is every “song of love” composition. Since 1996 the Songs of Love Foundation has reached out to over 27,000 children in over 500 hospitals and health care facilities in all 50 states. The songs have often been played to alleviate pain and trauma during painful and scary hospital treatments.  The song recipients have played their “songs of love” in all kinds of situations and settings such as car trips to the hospital, show and tell at school, for family and friends in person or on the phone, and even for the doctors and nurses.

Siri Bream, a certified Child Life Specialist from the Children’s Hospital of Richmond, VA, states, “Songs of Love is such an invaluable gift for our children and families that counteracts and comforts any of the fear, anger or grief that an illness or injury brings. The healing power of music is huge, but the power of feeling validated, of being honored, of being important enough to have a song that is entirely all about YOU, gives our patients a sense of belonging in this world, a sense of hope, a renewed purpose and determination to LIVE”.

To request a song for a child, click here. Be sure to learn more about this amazing program at SongsOfLove.org or follow them on Facebook, TwitterInstagram and YouTube.

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We will be giving away a Songs of Love t-shirt to one lucky winner! Choose one or more ways to enter:

1. Sign up for email notifications at ChildLifeMommy.com and leave a comment below.

2. Facebook: Follow Child Life Mommy, leave a comment and tag a friend on the post.

3. Facebook: Follow Songs of Love, leave a comment about the #ChildLifeGiveaway.

4. Twitter: Follow, Like and RT the post to @ChildLifeMommy and @SongsofLove.

5. Instagram: Follow @ChildLifeMommy, Like and Tag a friend in the post.

Good Luck! Winner will be chosen 3/4/17

Worry Eaters: Spotlight and Giveaway

Children and adults have everyday worries, but sometimes the worry can be so large that it takes control of your life. As a child life specialist, my role is to help families cope with life’s challenges through therapeutic interventions. By providing an activity to express emotions and feel validation, families will be able to cope in a healthier way.

I’m thrilled to feature the Worry Eaters today and share how they can help kids at home, school or in the hospital.

Worry Eaters

How Does It Work:

It’s as simple as write or draw your worries, feed them to your Worry Eater, zip up the mouth and let your Worry Eater carry your burdens for a bit.  Because we all have worries and they are a normal part of life, the Worry Eaters are valuable to all ages.  For adults it allows them to get their trouble “off their shoulders” for a time, and for kids, it is a safe way to express what is worrying them and provides their parents a tool to open conversation about their worries and how to deal with them.

Worry Eater in Action:

Gavin, my 6-year-old had the opportunity to share his worries with Flamm, the Worry Eater. He starts first grade this week and has been quite vocal about the new transition, “I hate school” or “I’m not going” are just a few things he has said. The typical response is to rescue his fears with statements of, “You are going to have so much fun” or “Don’t worry, you will meet new friends in this class”. But that isn’t helping him feel validated or offering a way for him to take control of these feelings.

So, I introduced Flamm to him and explained that he could draw or write any worry or fear that he may have and let Flamm deal with it. He openly said that he was worried about “having too much homework”. Flamm helped him draw the picture of two kids sitting at a table doing their homework. Then on his own he crumbled it up and shoved it in Flamm’s mouth.

The activity was a great way for him to feel safe expressing his feelings and offering insight for me to strategize a better homework routine when school begins.

Worry Eaters

About the Creator:

Producer, inventor, animator, and director, Gerhard Hahn has spent the last 35 years creating and producing feature films and television series in Germany with his company, Hahn Film. In 2008 Gerd Hahn had a terrible night. A client hadn’t paid a major contract, putting his family, film company and all its employees’ futures in jeopardy. At 4 a.m. Gerhard had an ah-hah! moment. Whether big or small, we all have problems and worries from time to time, young and old alike.

The next morning Gerhard called his designers and laid out his plans for a cuddly plush character where worries could be safely articulated and tucked away. The plush had to have a tough-looking exterior so that children would be assured that their worries couldn’t escape, yet it had to be charming enough to snuggle with at bedtime. The new creation also needed a mechanism for “consuming” the worries of its owner. The now infamous sideways zipper “mouth” accomplished all of these goals and gave this new product line a unique angle. The Sorgenfresser (German for Worry Eater) was born!

Copy of Worry-3

Where to Purchase Worry Eaters:

The Haywire Group became the exclusive North American distributor for Worry Eaters this year and they became available to U.S. and Canadian consumers in June 2015. The Worry Eaters can be purchased in neighborhood toy stores or online. The Worry Eaters come in two sizes, large for $22.99 and small for $15.99.

Therapists, counselors and child life specialists get a 20% discount on an online order.  Just email social@haywiregroup.com with your name, professional practice, address and email and we will send back the code.

Follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Google+

Worry Eaters Giveaway

Get a chance to win your own Worry Eater!

Choose one or more ways to enter:

1. Sign up for email notifications at ChildLifeMommy.com and leave a comment below.

2. Facebook: Follow Child Life Mommy, leave a comment and tag a friend on the post.

3. Facebook: Follow Haywire Group and leave a comment about the #ChildLifeGiveaway

4. Twitter: Follow, Like and RT the post to @ChildLifeMommy and @HaywireGroup

5. Instagram: Follow @ChildLifeMommy, Like and Tag a friend in the post.

Good Luck! Winner will be chosen 9/2/15

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He said, “Gavin”

My four-year old has started speech therapy last week. The therapist has been working on his articulation and she has been very impressed by how well he is doing.
After their third session together they were both eager to share something new with me.
She said, “Tell mommy what we worked on today.”
With a big smile on his face, he said it correctly for the first time “GAVIN!”
Wow! I was so thrilled and proud of him. He usually pronounces it “Da-Vin” but now he has learned to use the back of his mouth and tongue to say “Ga-Vin”
With big hugs and high fives, this mommy is so proud of her little man!

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